Bobby Beausoleil

“Beausoleil. That’s French. My name is French. It means Beautiful Sun.”

Robert “Bobby” Beausoleil, aka Cupid, was convicted to life imprisonment for killing Gary Hinman. Beausoleil was arrested on August 6, 1969, two days before the Tate murders. According to several members of the clan, one of the reasons for the Tate murders was to get Beausoleil out of jail by committing a copycat murder.

Bobby Beausoleil, born on November 6, 1947, was a fixture in the Los Angeles music scene during the mid-’60s. It was during this time that he met Charles Manson at a house called the Spiral Staircase. Despite their differences in age, Beausoleil and Manson became fast friends, bonding over their shared passion for music.

Though Beausoleil was never a full-fledged member of the Family like the majority of its members, he still played an important role in the group. Unlike the others, Beausoleil never lived in the commune, but Manson respected him more than any other man and considered him a brother. Manson never pressured Beausoleil to remain with the Family; Beausoleil had the freedom to pursue his own endeavors.

Beausoleil, known for his good looks, had his own little harem before he crossed paths with Manson. Leslie Van Houten, Catherine Share, and Kathryn Lutesinger had all lived with him prior to joining the Family. Beausoleil had met Share when they worked together on a soft-core pornographic film called The Ramrodder, and Share was the one who recruited Van Houten. Lutesinger was pregnant with Beausoleil’s child at the time.

Gary Hinman

Gary Hinman was the unfortunate first victim in a series of murders committed by the Family. Gary Hinman was a musician who left his home state of Colorado to live and work as a musician in the Los Angeles area. Gary was kind and outgoing, he was a good-hearted person who often gave others in need of a place to stay or a few dollars to get by.

His house was a regular crash pad for anyone needing accommodation, and several Family members, including Beausoleil, stayed there for short periods of time. According to Beausoleil’s version of events, Gary had sold him 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and he wanted his money back. When Gary refused to return the money, Beausoleil, along with Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner, killed him.

Then it all Came Down

A couple of days after the murder, the California Highway Patrol found Beausoleil sleeping in Hinman’s Fiat station. He told the police that the car had broken down while he was driving to San Francisco, but it wasn’t long before Beausoleil was arrested for Gary Hinman’s murder.

Fateful Day

On the fateful day of August 8, 1969, Manson learned of Beausoleil’s arrest. A couple of hours later, Mary Brunner and Sandra Good were thrown in jail for credit card fraud. That same evening, the night of August 8, 1969, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel went to the Tate residence, setting off a chain of events that would forever haunt Los Angeles.

Sentenced to Death

Beausoleil had two trials, was found guilty, and was initially sentenced to death. In 1972, however, California outlawed the death penalty and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. In 2019, the state’s parole board recommended Beausoleil for parole, but the Governor of California denied the recommendation, and he remains in prison to this day.